[ Eastern Standard Time]
Big City Sophistication and marvelous country within easy driving distance…
Melbourne, the capital of Victoria, has regularly been voted one of the world’s most livable cities. Melbourne is renowned for its sense of style and elegance. It boasts glamorous festivals, Australia’s best shopping, a lively passion for eating and drinking, and a flourishing interest in the arts. Great vestiges of nineteenth-century architecture, built following the discovery of gold, act as reminders of a prosperous age.
Melbourne is the place with something for everyone – retail therapy in chic fashion stores, hanging out in cafes or trendy bars, catching a game at one of the big stadiums, (typically Australian Rules Football or Cricket at the M.C.G or the Australian Open Tennis at Rod Laver Arena) or taking time to shop and play at the Crown Casino complex or opting out with a walk in the botanic gardens or a romantic dinner in one of Melbourne’s many restaurants.
If that’s not enough, it also offers easy access to areas such as the Yarra Valley- wine, Phillip Island – Penquin Parade, Daylesford – mineral spas, Echuca – the riverport, the High Country – snow skiing, Wilson's Promontory - a National Park renowned for it's walking tracks and beauty, and finally the coastal scenery of the famous Great Ocean Road. Victoria is a small state and all these places are an easy 1-3 hour’s drive out of Melbourne. Good accommodation is easy to come by, whether on the coast or inland – hiking or sampling the vintages.
For surfing enthusiasts, the southern coast is THE place to visit. If its history you are after, then you should be heading for towns with names like Ballarat or Bendigo. One of the best known sites in Ballarat is Sovereign Hill where visitors can actually pan for gold and experience first-hand what it was like to live and work in the gold mining era.
E: A jewel of a city. You picked a good place. I really liked the cafes in the narrow lanes, the arcades, etc. Also found the architecture very interesting.
F: Melbourne became very quickly one of the most favourite towns on earth for us and we were wondering why other cities in the world cannot achieve such a quality for living. We bought for 5 Dollars blue bicycle helmets and the rental-system is then just great. The Botanic Garden is incredible (and this for free!). Christmas Eve at the Sydney Myer Music Bowl was very special for us Europeans. We felt very like "Melbournese" going downtown by tram, bicycle or just by walking.
D: We loved Melbourne and enjoyed our time there and wouldn't mind going back. Quite beautiful and cosmopolitan with easily days of things to do in and about the city.
F: Boroka Downs at Halls Gap is the most brilliant way to stay we ever experienced in Australia. One could just stay there, sit on the terrace and watch all the Birds (incredible), Kangaroos, Wallabies and Emus coming pretty close to the terrace (one Wallaby came finally just as close as 5 meters to us during our dinner as it was thirsty and drank from the birds-water we provided). The whole set-up (architecture, separate bungalows, landscape, flora and fauna) is fantastically rounded up by free supply of everything you need for breakfast (including milk, eggs, butter, bread, croissants). The Grampians National Park in the background is a great scenery. For walking there it was too hot as we stayed just during the summer-time, but at other times it must be great doing some hiking there.
R Family: Amazing place !!! The 28km off-road (I mean non-paved road) is already an unforgettable souvenir, especially for people living in China (you know what I mean...) where we can see until 5 "layers" of crossing highways... So yes I loved the road, some people may be surprised. Waterholes Guesthouse in Bairnsdale is really difficult to imagine... I had a look at their website before coming, but completely different !!! No road, no telephone,... just the nature, birds songs (sometimes deer), kangaroos coming at night, a small river like a pool... dreaming places ! In addition the hosts are also really nice, and cooking really really really well !
G Family: Phillip Island itself was great for 2 days – well worth anyone going and the penguins, koalas and other nature activities were really good.
Visit our Travel Request page to request a copy of a suggested itinerary for this area.